04/10/11 7:55 PM ET
Samardzija still needs to work on his control
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
He's a work in progress.
"That's another situation where he's going to be as good as his ability to hit the glove, period," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "His stuff is plenty good enough to be successful here. You've got to locate it, and locate it well and locate consistently down. Until he does that, he's going to struggle here. He knows that.
"Whether it's a mechanical thing, whether it's mental, whether it's a combination of the two, he's just got to fall in love with the catcher's glove and find it day in and day out," Quade said.
In his previous outing, on Tuesday, Samardzija struck out the first two batters he faced to finish the sixth, but walked two of three to open the seventh before he was pulled. After that outing, he watched video, then went out to the left-field corner at Wrigley Field to throw against the wall to work on his mechanics.
"I have a very short memory," Quade said. "Just come out and pitch well the next time. Pitching well will keep you in ballgames."
Fukudome exits with a mild hamstring strain
MILWAUKEE -- Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome has a mild left hamstring strain, which he injured while making a running catch in the fifth inning during the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park on Sunday. His status is day to day.
Fukudome was hurt as he snared Yuniesky Betancourt's fly ball for the second out of the Milwaukee fifth. He had to hustle to get to the ball in shallow right and limped off the field at the end of the inning.
"He makes a nice play and you almost wish he would've left his feet because a dive would've probably not resulted in the injury," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Hopefully, it's not too bad."
The Cubs expect to know more about the severity of the injury on Monday in Houston.
"It's not much [pain]," Fukudome said, "but I felt like I couldn't play 100 percent, so that's why I came out.
"When it happened, I thought I might be able to play, but when I came back into the dugout and tried to do a few things, I didn't feel like I could go 100 percent," he said.
The right fielder, who left on the team plane with his left thigh wrapped, was 0-for-2 Sunday, but is batting .313 for the season.
The Cubs began the season with no one on the disabled list, and in the first week of games lost their fourth and fifth starters, Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells.
Cubs add veteran Ortiz to Triple-A rotation
MILWAUKEE -- Veteran pitcher Ramon Ortiz has joined the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and will make his first start Monday night at Albuquerque, according to a release issued by the Minor Legaue team.
Ortiz, 37, made 16 appearances (eight starts) with the Dodgers last season, and was 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA in 16 games. He also pitched for Triple-A Buffalo in the Mets' system and Triple-A Durham in the Rays' system last year.
He has pitched for the Angels (2000-04), Reds ('05), Nationals ('06), Twins ('07), Rockies ('07), and the Dodgers ('10). In 274 career games (212 starts) over 10 seasons in the Majors, he is 85-82 with a 4.93 ERA. He also spent the 2008 season pitching for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
The Cubs' pitching took a double hit when starters Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells were both placed on the disabled list this week. Cashner has a strained right rotator cuff and Wells has a strained right forearm.
Garza to make changes after early struggles
MILWAUKEE -- Cubs starter Matt Garza shouldered the blame for Saturday's 6-0 loss to the Brewers, saying he needed to make some changes.
"We didn't score any runs, so I don't think you can lay the finger entirely on him," Cubs manager Mike Quade said Sunday.
Milwaukee's Prince Fielder hit three doubles off Garza, and in each instance, Garza was ahead, 0-2, in the count.
"You know when you've got a guy 0-2, even a guy like Fielder, he's in a world of trouble," Quade said. "I just want to see him come out and be better next time."
Garza said he's a "fastball guy" and the majority of the Brewers' eight hits came on fastballs.
"That's uncalled for," he said. "That's not my style, that's not who I am, and that's something that's going to change."
Quade, though, said he'd like to see Garza improve his offspeed game.
"He's 0-2 on Fielder and throws a slider, and if he gets the ball in the right location and gets it down out of the zone 0-2, there's a very good chance he has success with that pitch," Quade said. "I think his mix of pitches is going to be important for him to be successful."
Garza's next start will be Friday in Colorado. We'll see.
Marlon Byrd had two walks Sunday, the first time he's done that in a game since Sept. 28 against the Padres. He had a pair of two-walk games in 2010. He scored three runs, the most since he scored three last July 18 against the Phillies. ... Matt Garza leads all Major League pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings, averaging 14.21 per nine. He has 20 Ks in 12 2/3 innings. He's also given up 20 hits, and ranks sixth in hits per nine innings. ... Aramis Ramirez hit three doubles for the fourth time in his career, and first since July 29, 2008. ... Cubs Minor League pitcher Trey McNutt had to leave his game Sunday for Double-A Tennessee because of a minor hand issue. McNutt appeared to have a blister, according to team officials. Brett Jackson, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, hit a seventh-inning grand slam to lift Tennessee to an 8-5 win over Chattanooga.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.